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Karen Neal, Fox
Robin (Cobie Smulders) has a crazy Canadian meltdown on an episode of the CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother."

LOS ANGELES. — Among the running gags on "How I Met Your Mother" is a mocking attitude toward Canada.

Yes, they make fun of our neighbors to the North on a regular basis. Through the character of Robin Cherbotsky, who's Canadian. Who's played by Cobie Smulders, who's also Canadian.

Smulders says she's not offended by the cracks. Nor does she think most of her countrymen object.

"No, I think that Canadians in general are very good-natured," Smulders said. "And I haven't experienced any problems yet. Actually, no one has even mentioned it to me, which actually surprises me.

"I was home over the holidays, and not a single person came up and was, like, 'What's the deal?' "

That, however, is apparently not the case for all the cast members.

"I went to Canada, and that's all I heard," said Alyson Hannigan, who stars as Lily.

"Oh really?" Smulders said.

"Yeah, but they were really happy about it," Hannigan said. "They were, like, 'We love you guys making fun of us.' "

In a weird way, maybe at least some Canadians appreciate that "How I Met Your Mother" takes time to mock them.

"It's almost like, 'Thanks for mentioning us!' " Smulders said. "People tend to forget about us.

"I mean, it's sort of the joke around here where I'm really angry about it but I enjoy it and it's fun and it's all just silliness."

WHO'S THE MOTHER? Anytime anybody starts asking questions about "How I Met Your Mother," the one that always comes up is — when are we going to meet the mother? When are we going to meet the woman Ted (Josh Radnor) marries?

"Um, we can't really say," said creator/executive producer Carter Bays.

"We can't answer that one," added creator/executive producer Craig Thomas.

And chances are we aren't going to find out anytime soon, because "HIMYM" has been renewed for next season.

And Thomas did point out that, in an episode earlier this year, we did get a glimpse of the future mother.

"We saw her foot! We're going to do one body part at a time in each episode until the end of the season," he joked.

IT DOESN'T MATTER: The thing about "HIMYM" is that, while the mystery over whom Ted will eventually marry — still going strong after 101 episodes — doesn't really matter to the show's continuing creative strength.

"There are episodes where we don't touch upon it at all," Thomas said. "I mean, it's the story of Ted and his friends and that second sort of adolescence of late 20s/early 30s and entering adulthood.

"To us, there's so much more to talk about than that. But it's great to sort of like have that up our sleeve when we want to, and it's given us a lot of great ideas and a lot of different kinds of stories that we can tell."

MORE HORRIBLE-NESS? Writer/producer/director Joss Whedon has been talking about doing a sequel to his online "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," but the guy who played Dr. Horrible doesn't know much about it.

"I keep sort of asking him if it's gonna happen — if there's gonna be any kind of 'Dr. Horrible-ness,'" said Neil Patrick Harris, who stars on "How I Met Your Mother" as Barney. "They're anxious to do it, but scheduling becomes the tricky issue. I hope it happens soon. I hope they cast me."

Well, not much question of casting him. But finding time while he's on hiatus from the CBS sitcom becomes somewhat complicated.

"We have from April to August off, which isn't a huge window," Harris said. "And that's kind of coming pretty soon, so I wouldn't expect it to happen this hiatus. But maybe a year from then."

e-mail: pierce@desnews.com